Breach of lease agreement scam by Jane Zhu of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited
Date First Reported: January 2012
Primary Name Associated: Jane Zhu
Description of Potential Fraud:
Four Ontario lawyers have reported to us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Jane Zhu of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited with regards to retaining their services to collect on a breach of a lease agreement. It is very similar to the Kiyoshi Yukio and Nan Zhang emails lawyers across Canada received.
This is another bad cheque fraud in which the ‘customer’ accused of breaching the lease agreement will no doubt also quickly send a (counterfeit) cheque for damages to the lawyers office, and the lawyer will be asked to wire the funds (minus fees and costs) to an offshore account. See our Fraud Fact Sheet for more information on how these scams work and how to spot them.
Here is an example of the initial contact email:
From: Jane Zhu [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2012 10:45 PM
To: lawyer name(Toronto)
Subject: re: voluntary payment shortfall
We request your Professionalism regarding a breach of lease, that was duly guaranteed, involving us, and a customer of ours domiciled in your State. We secured the Machinery they sort and leased it to them for an agreed period of time, but they have since fallen short of the executed agreement and the voluntary payment arrangement we had in place.
We look forward to a response from you, so that we can provide you with more information. We will appreciate your helping us with our request regarding this matter.
Head Of Administration
China Harbour Engineering Company Limited
No. 9, Chunxiu Road,
Dong Zhi Men Wai,
Beijing 100027, P.R. China
One lawyer received an email from the “customer”:
We understand you are lawyers to China Harbour Engineering Company Limited
I am presently out of the country (we have a major contract in Canada),
but we are having a Board meeting regarding their outstanding payment, and
we will get back to you before the end of Tuesday next week.
We will advice that you stay any action for now, and sincerely request for
your understanding in this matter. This is for your immediate attention.
Your patience understanding is been solicited here.
Head Accounts Department
Allied Gator, Inc
How to handle a real or suspected fraud
If you have been targeted by any of these frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to [email protected].
If you suspect you are acting on a matter that might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). We will talk you through the common fraud scenarios we are seeing and help you spot red flags that may indicate you are being duped. This will help you ask appropriate questions of your client to determine if the matter is legitimate or not. If the matter you are acting on turns out to be a fraud and there is a potential claim, we will work with you to prevent the fraud and minimize potential claims costs.
If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.
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Fraud Fact SheetMore fraud prevention information and resources are available on the practicePRO Fraud page, including the Fraud Fact Sheet, a handy reference for lawyers and law firm staff that describes the common frauds and the red flags that can help identify them.